Swiss Startup Creates Fully Transparent Eco-Friendly Surgical Face Mask

June 17, 2020 Monika Thakur Accessories
Image: EPFL

A Swiss startup called HMCARE has come up with a fully transparent and eco-friendly surgical mask – HelloMask, which has been designed to solve the problems associated with conventional masks, such as difficult human interaction as half of the face is covered.

This transparent face mask is perfect for those who would prefer to show a little more of their face while shielding their mouth from harmful viruses or bacteria. Besides being transparent, this mask is also recyclable and biodegradable.

Creation of HelloMask

The founders of HelloMask took a cue from healthcare workers back when the Ebola outbreak happened in 2015 and all children’s hospitals were working closely with parents but without showing their own faces.

As per the Swiss startup, earlier they created regular face masks with a plastic window attached. But the window used to fog up and was not breathable. So, the company’s CEO, Thierry Pelet, approached his own EPFL colleagues to come with a prototype of transparent masks using a material that’s see-through and allows airflow without permitting viruses to enter.

Image: EPFL

Also Read: New COVID-19 Mask Gobbles Like Pac-Man To Help You Eat in Restaurants

Finally, they came up with this HelloMask that’s made from biomass-based recyclable material that makes it environmentally-friendly and transparent compared to other face masks available on the market. It is manufactured using a special technique called “electrospinning,” where makers used electrical force to create ultra-thin polymer fibers for fabricating their masks.

Fibers used in the mask are only 100nm apart, which uses the same space as the conventional surgical masks. The gap between the fibers is small enough to filter out bacteria and viruses but large enough to allow ample airflow for proper breathing. Since we all are dealing with coronavirus pandemic for a long time now, we needed such a biodegradable face mask to minimize its impact on the environment.

According to TechCrunch, since the world requires more masks, the idea of this latest transparent face mask could be catnip for certain investors. That’s the reason why HMCARE was able to raise a million Francs easily to seed their new mask. So far, the R&D has been completed by using nonprofit donations as well as grants.

Image: EPFL

While the HelloMasks can possibly be launched at the beginning of 2021, they can be primarily used in the medical community where demand for surgical masks will be exponential. These masks would be very profitable during the coronavirus pandemic and also likely to be a huge hit when they will be available for the general public.

Cleaning Your Face Mask, Things to Know

Image: Pinterest

Here are certain essentials you should keep in mind when clean your face mask after use:

Machine Wash: the best and easiest way to wash a fabric mask is by laundering it in a washing machine in warm or hot water. Hot water will also sanitize the mask.

Wash by Hand: You may even wash your mask by hands, using hot water, soap, and scrub. Keep agitating it for 20 to 30 seconds and rinse thoroughly before air drying. For deeper hand-laundering, you can dilute liquid or powder detergent in hot water and immerse your mask in the solution for 30 to 60 seconds. After that, rinse it thoroughly and let it air dry.

Stain Removal: If you’ve stained your mask during wear, storage, or handling, you can clean it with a laundry stain removal product used for cleaning clothing or other textiles.

Dirt and Grime Removal: To remove dirt and grime, you need to use enzymatic stain remover that can even clean dead skin and oil residues. This cleaner is also effective in cleaning food or other types of stains, including makeup, sunscreen, etc.